Sunday, May 28, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
This is an excerpt from my commentary about what I’ve learned in 20 years of writing about and working with the homeless in Las Vegas. Many of my social-networking friends know a lot about homelessness—more than I ever will—and I’m curious how your experience aligns with mine or doesn’t. Please share your thoughts.
Friday, May 12, 2017
“I was giving this other homeless guy hot dogs I’d found in a dumpster and out of the corner of my eye I see this big guy come over and deck me. The hot dogs go flying. I was stunned. It took me a second to realize I just got hit in the face. He starts wailing on me and I fight back. I’m not a small guy, so he took off. I had this meat cleaver on me and I’m chasing him down the street. The dealers that lived in the shitty apartments nearby knew me; I was a good customer of theirs. They were like, ‘Dude, what’s up?’ I said, ‘Get that guy!’ We’re all chasing him and he dipped through a hole in the fence and went down into a wash and into a tunnel. I stopped. I’m like, I’m not going in there. And that’s how I found the tunnel.”
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
Sunday, May 7, 2017
If nothing else, my book about the survivors of the Las Vegas storm drains will feature some colorful names. I’ve mentioned “One Shoe Sue” and “Four-Finger Mike.” My latest interview (the 28th total) was with “Merchandise Mike,” a wedding photographer turned “booster” who shoplifted to support his crack habit.
I received a couple of friend requests from people living in Poland and did a little research. Turns out a Polish magazine published a piece related to the tunnels. As far as I can tell, the reporter came to Vegas to try to find the “canals” and talk to people living in them. He finally found one and the folks told him, in their own, unique words, no comment.
The reporter never reached out to me, but surfed my website and/or Facebook page and referenced various posts, including my recent interview in Vegas Seven magazine with Paul/Shaggy. The Polish piece also included a few photos from my Facebook page (without permission).
I’m not saying American journalism is all that—it has its flaws—but sometimes foreign media coverage confounds me.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
I recently found out more about my job in Central America. It looks like I will be teaching 11th grade English (American lit) and 12th grade AP English (British lit), with the possibility of eventually picking up creative writing. Required works on the American lit syllabus include The Things They Carried, The Awakening and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Works on the Brit lit syllabus include The Importance of Being Earnest, Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice. I should also be able to choose various other readings to supplement the required ones.
By all indications, this school takes its reading and writing seriously. I do, too. Let’s hope this is a good match.
Monday, May 1, 2017
I’ve been biking the alleyways of downtown Las Vegas. Here are my observations (along with some really cool pics courtesy of Krystal Ramirez).